Supporting the next generation – Carlos Clark Head of Professional Development at Rodericks DentalFeatured Products Promotional Features
Posted by: The Probe 9th December 2018
Training the next generation of dentists is an important job and one that will affect the quality of dental care provided to patients in the future. Carlos Clark, Head of Professional Development at Rodericks Dental, discusses the group’s commitment to FD training and explores how its offerings set it apart from the crowd.
Born of a passion
A large number of the senior management and clinical team within Rodericks have been involved with Foundation Dentist (FD) training for many years. I was an FD trainer for over 15 years and a Training Programme Director (TPD) for the Berkshire scheme; Shalin Mehra (Chief Executive officer) is currently the Associate Dean for HEE Thames Valley; Cathie Brady (Chief Clinical Officer) is TPD for the Bucks scheme; and until recently, Alpesh Khetia (Director), Fiona Patch (Head of Quality and Support) and Caitriona Walsh (TPD for overseas dentists at Rodericks) were also FD trainers.
Key to the group’s dedication to FD training is the passion for education among our team – it has been part of what we have been doing for many years. In this way, we have accrued many years of experience between us, making our knowledge base of FD training second-to-none. In fact, we probably have more than 100 years of experience of training and education within the senior management team, ensuring that we understand exactly what it takes to deliver effective training for generations of our FDs.
We currently have 19 practices that have FDs within them across the country – that’s roughly 25% of our estate. This is very telling of the type of dental group we are for two reasons:
Firstly, it shows the quality of the dentists we have in our practices; becoming an FD Educational Supervisor is a very competitive process with the dentist having to demonstrate a lot of skill and knowledge both clinically and educationally. Our dentists want to develop themselves and also be involved in developing the next generation of young dentists to become confident, caring, reflective practitioners.
Secondly, each practice has to meet set criteria to become a training practice, and has to pass a Deanery inspection to allow an FD to work within the environment of both the surgery and the support team. Our teams have to be operating at best practice in all areas with high quality facilities, materials and equipment. We are proud to achieve this external validation of how we operate and what we’re doing on the ground. We are already planning to increase our commitment to FD training next year and have planned educational events to upskill our dentists so that they can become excellent educational supervisors and role models for our FDs.
What sets us apart from others
Our unwavering commitment to FD training is one of the characteristics that I believe sets Rodericks apart from other groups. We are prepared, and willing, to go above and beyond in order to deliver the training and support FDs need to lay the foundations for a long and successful career in dentistry. We are passionate about creating the best environments for learning and encouraging our FDs to develop their skills in all relevant clinical and non-clinical areas.
Unique to Rodericks, I provide support through my role as an FD Advisor. I essentially look after all the FDs, Educational Supervisors and practice teams within the group, giving support and advice to make sure they are kept aware of any relevant information and regulations. They also have the opportunity to come directly to me with any issues or concerns where local management teams are unable to help – this is unique to Rodericks and I believe it is another feature that sets us apart.
Further still, we are keen to facilitate our FDs’ development as an additional learning experience to their FD curriculum. As such, we provide optional hands-on CPD courses at the weekend in minor oral surgery, endodontics and restorative dentistry, as well as training days dedicated to periodontology. These courses are fantastic for FDs as they cover the clinical areas that many new graduate dentists tend to struggle most with in practice. We offer most of the training completely free of charge, except for asking a small contribution towards the minor oral surgery course. We are pleased that so many FDs find this training useful – the opportunity to cover these topics early on in their career is key for establishing good general dentistry skills from the start.
We hope that when our FDs come to the end of the year they will have enjoyed working with Rodericks, and wherever we can, we try to offer them roles within the organisation. We are proud that many FDs who complete a year in hospital service (Dental Core Training) return to a long career within Rodericks. We feel this is a testament to the support we offer throughout the FD training year and beyond.
For more information about the FD programme or FD training opportunities with Rodericks Dental, please visit www.rodericksdentalcareers.co.uk, or contact Christina Regan at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01604 970988(option 1)
Carlos qualified from Birmingham University in 1991. Having owned practices in London and Windsor, Carlos joined Rodericks in 2005 as a joint venture partner and subsequently merged his practices entirely with the group in 2008.
Carlos has had various roles within the group over the years. Having started as Business Development Director responsible for the opening of over 40 sites, he has also been in charge of facilities, operations and more recently was the group Clinical Director.
Carlos has been involved in postgraduate dental training since 1999, as an FD trainer and he also held the Training Programme Director role for the Berkshire scheme.
In May 2018 Carlos took over the role of Director of Professional Development for Rodericks looking after all the companies CPD and FD training programmes as well as combining this with working two days a week in clinic.